Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoes

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There are some months when Bon Appétit arrives and I peruse the magazine with a feeling of disappointment.  It is not that there aren't always new recipes to try that sound delicious or use an interesting ingredient with which I wouldn't otherwise cook, but there just aren't recipes that inspire me to get in the car, head to the grocery store for ingredients and get cooking!  However, the May 2011 issue was not one of those issues... the magazine has been redesigned and it is awesome!  The layout is much-improved and I, literally, want to make every recipe in the magazine.  The monthly recipe list that I sent to Kate last week was considerably longer than in past months and I couldn't wait to get cooking!

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So, after my first trip to the grocery store in weeks, I started last night with something simple because I spent too much time perusing the aisles at Whole Foods (pretty standard when it comes to me and grocery stores).  The recipe for Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoes by Mario Batali is in the "Pasta Perfect" section of the magazine and when I saw the first heirloom yellow tomatoes of the season at Whole Foods, I knew this was the perfect choice.  The recipe is super simple and took about 20 minutes from start to finish.  It isn't a dramatic dish but the flavors are subtle and fresh and oh, so good. I had to improvise a bit because I forgot parmesan cheese at the store (I used random cheese I had on hand and this cheese powder from the Savory Spice Shop that is useful for forgetful moments) and it still turned out really well.  Make it -- you won't be disappointed!

Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoes

(modified from the May 2011 issue of Bon Appétit)

Serves 4 

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz.Sun Gold or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp.crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. pasta (I used a fun shape called fusilli)
  • 1 1/2 cupsfinely grated Pecorino or Parmesan
  • 16 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Preparation

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook, covered slightly and swirling pan often, until tomatoes blister and burst, 10-12 minutes. Press down on tomatoes to release their juices. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water.

Transfer pasta to skillet with tomatoes; set over high heat. Add 1 cup pasta water. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining oil, cheese, and half the basil and toss until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Add remaining basil, season with salt, and serve.

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